All-Ireland Post Primary SAFC semi-final
Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice believes his side can improve on the performance delivered when defending their Corn Uí Mhuirí title earlier this month.
The Dingle school face Leinster champions Naas CBS in today’s Hogan Cup semi-final (Mallow, 2pm) and are bidding to reach a third All-Ireland final in six years.
Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne lost at this stage last year to eventual champions St Ronan’s of Lurgan — 10 of that team started the Corn Uí Mhuirí final replay victory over St Brendan’s College.
“We are delighted to have this chance again in terms of a Hogan Cup semi-final,” said former Kerry boss Fitzmaurice.
The feeling might have been that the team was a bit young last year when they lost in Abbottstown, but would come back again.
“However, you can’t take it for granted that you are going to be back again the following year, especially with how tight some of our games in the Corn Uí Mhuirí were.
“Our main hope from last year is that the lads will have learned from the defeat to Lurgan in terms of what they need to do to win.
“Since we won the Paul McGirr (All-Ireland post-primary JFC) two years ago, I’ve just felt that there has been a spirit there that even when we are not hitting the high notes in terms of our performance we are still managing to pull through and win.
“I certainly believe it is within the boys to step it up further from our performances in Munster, but even if we don’t, I hope that spirit they have will be there again if the going gets tough against Naas.”
Their opponents were guaranteed an All-Ireland semi-final berth going into the Leinster final given they met an amalgamated outfit — Wicklow Schools — in the provincial decider.
“It’s a unique situation. They are a very strong and athletic side and were the other Hogan Cup semi-finalists last year. There are about 1,000 pupils in their school and that gives them more options on that front than we would have.”